MOSCOW, June 20. /TASS/. Russia is concerned about the fact that more than one-third of judges at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) have been elected without the participation of Russian lawmakers because of the crisis in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland on Wednesday.
"The number of petitions against Russia sent to the ECHR has dropped more than three times over the past five years. Since no one and nothing in this world is perfect, we would like the court itself to improve its effectiveness and, most importantly, to comply with the subsidiarity principle its work is based on," the minister said. "We cannot but be concerned about the fact that, because of the PACE crisis, more than one-third of the judges at the ECHR have been elected without the participation of a delegation of Russian lawmakers. That makes your efforts and efforts by all those who want to overcome that crisis relying on the underlying principles of the Council of Europe all the more important."
Russia and PACE
In April 2014, the Russian delegation to PACE was stripped of its key rights following the developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. The issue of restoring the rights of the Russian delegation was raised at PACE twice throughout 2015 but the sanctions are still in place: Russia is deprived of the right to vote and cannot take part in the Assembly’s governing bodies and election monitoring missions. In response, Russia suspended its participation in the PACE activities till the end of 2015. In 2016-2017, Russia skipped PACE meetings due to ongoing sanctions.
In late June 2017, Russia said it was suspending payment of its contribution to the Council of Europe over its non-participation in PACE. Concurrently, it suggested PACE’s regulations be amended to make sure that no one could strip any national delegations of their rights.